A startling new report finds that ten percent of men using the gay hookup app Grindr have never been tested for HIV and that one-third of these men tell other users that they are not infected with the deadly disease.
The survey, called “Patterns of Lifetime and Recent HIV Testing Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City,” created by the Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training, aimed to find out how knowledgeable young men who have sex with men, use social media and live in New York City, were about HIV/AIDS.
“When we first began looking at the data we were surprised to find that one in 10 men on Grindr in NYC had never received an HIV test and we quickly realized we needed to look further into the issue,” said Jon Redina, a data analyst for the study, according to Queerty.
The report also found that one-third of the men who have never had an HIV test told potential partners that they were negative. Redina says this “may mean that men are sharing potentially inaccurate HIV status information with their partners on Grindr.”
Additionally, the study reported that nearly one-third of the men who have never been tested admitted that they have had anal sex without a condom in the past three months.
The data did show, however, that half of the men who use Grindr had an HIV test in the past six months, and more than 70 percent said they had been tested in the past year.
“These findings suggest that some prevention messages – specifically that MSM that engage in unprotected sex should have more frequent HIV testing – are reaching the intended audience,” Rendina said. “It’s our hope that these data highlight the importance of embedding HIV testing and other prevention campaigns where men who have sex with men network, socialize, and express their sexuality, such as Grindr.”
The report, which was featured in August’s online issue of AIDS and Behavior, sampled about 1,300 gay men who live in the New York City area.